Charleston: Charming, Cultured, Cultivated (And Fortunately, Not Curated). A Travelogue

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Quick: What do you know about Charleston, South Carolina, that is.

Well, we didn’t know much about this colonial coastal city until we spent five days there earlier this month. We knew there would be lots of history, great food and Southern heritage in this Low Country town known as “The Holy City.”

But we didn’t expect to be somewhat overwhelmed by just how charming, cultured and cultivated we found Charleston.  So what follows is a stream-of-consciousness account (in modern poetics this could be considered “lyric poetry” — I am in the graduate program for English, you know) of our trip to Charleston, followed by some original images.

From the steps of our hotel, I counted four church steeples, some with spires rising majestically to the heavens
in the distance I view three construction cranes, all a safe distance outward.

The first morning; a walk along Calhoun Street to the Fort Sumter National Monument
a dozen or so people wished me “good morning.” I didn’t have to ask.

A decidedly human scale with 18th and 19th century structures not repelled by the modern,
harmony between the Guilded Age and the digital.

Low Country cuisine, honest and unadorned, subtly delicious,
no places named for false royalty or known by AU/curved symmetrical structures.

Within the peninsula, a sense of decorum, unhurried,
thoroughfares like Zig Zag Alley leading nowhere and everywhere.

Flora, subtle but majestic at times, in full bloom,
emerges to buffer the persistent breezes.

The honest greeting of an honest server,
proud to share history on the restaurant that once was a church for longshoremen.

Designer names equitably share King Street
with Asian noodle shops and a haphazard liquor store.

Stately and elegant, woven into the quiet fabric,
College of Charleston, seat of learning and culture.

The muscular side, cargo vessels in the harbor,
honor the colonial heritage.

Solemnity, most of the time,
broken by church bells, seemingly from all directions.

(Okay, had enough? Enjoy the images below. Visit Charleston soon. There’s a lack of pretense, but an abundance of reality.)


Handsome buildings like this one are everywhere.

Many private homes have impeccable small gardens.

A view of the quad at the College of Charleston, voted as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. I would agree.

Charleston Bay is an active port.

This classic structure was completed in 1879 and is still in use.

The world’s biggest pineapple? No, a very cool fountain in Waterfront Park along the east bay.

Read closely, and you’ll learn that Charleston was once one of the busiest ports in the colonies.

Why is Charleston called the Holy City? Yes, there are a lot of cool, well-maintained churches. But also, the peninsula was a bastion of freedom for many religions.

Just outside of Charleston, one can get a glimpse of the country life. This image was shot at the Magnolia Plantation.

Yes, the azaleas were in bloom during our visit. We found these everywhere.

Yes, right there on the grounds of many churches; final resting places for Charlestonians.

The view from the Fort Sumter National Monument.

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